Has there ever been an age demographic more maligned than this batch of avocado toast-munching, college-lecture-protesting, smartphone-addicted snowflakes? And what’s it like to be crowned the voice of such a generation, distilling the angst of the startup strivers and the Instagram influencers into timely, coherent bulletins for The New Yorker?
If anybody knows the answers to those questions it’s Brooklyn writer Jia Tolentino, and her new essay collection, “Trick Mirror,” out Aug. 6 from Penguin Random House, is proof she’s up to the task. In each of these nine original essays, Tolentino explores a “cultural prism” of our age, from our obsession with con artists like Billy McFarland and Elizabeth Holmes, to our codependent relationship with social media, to our Sisyphean efforts at optimizing every aspect of our lives. According to author Rebecca Solnit, in “Trick Mirror” Tolentino paints “a picture of America that was as missing as it was needed.”
Jia Tolentino is a staff writer for The New Yorker. She was a contributing editor at The Hairpin and the deputy editor at Jezebel. She lives in Brooklyn and will host a book launch event for “Trick Mirror” at Books are Magic in Cobble Hill on August 5.